Mechanisms Underlying Ca2+ Store Refilling in Airway Smooth Muscle

  • Charlotte K. BillingtonEmail author
  • Ian P. Hall
  • Carl P. Nelson


In airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells, contractile tone is tightly coupled to the intracellular calcium (Ca2+) concentration, with Ca2+ release from intracellular stores, followed by influx through plasma membrane ion channels providing the signature Ca2+ signal leading to contraction. One such Ca2+ influx pathway, via store-operated calcium (SOC) channels, is particularly prominent in ASM cells. SOC entry not only supplies Ca2+ to replenish the depleted intracellular stores but also provides a sustained Ca2+ signal to maintain contraction and potentially initiate downstream cellular responses. The molecular determinants of store-operated Ca2+ entry were poorly defined until the relatively recent discovery of the central roles of the stromal interaction molecules and Orai proteins in this pathway. In this chapter, we describe the current understanding of the mechanism of SOC entry and its functional significance in ASM cells.


Store-operated calcium channels Stromal interaction molecules Orai Airway smooth muscle Calcium 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte K. Billington
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ian P. Hall
    • 1
  • Carl P. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Respiratory MedicineThe University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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